Reviewing officers’ role under scrutiny

Concerns over the effectiveness of the independent officers who review children’s care plans are to be tackled by a new working group.

The group, including representatives from government, the Association of Directors of Social Services and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, will look at how to raise the profile of independent reviewing officers.

They have been in place at all councils since September 2004 to ensure authorities stick to care plans, and have the power to pass cases to Cafcass.

But Community Care revealed last month (news, page 8, 3 November) that Cafcass had not received any formal referrals, leading to concerns that the officer role was not sufficiently independent or powerful.

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